Taiwan announces increase in military spending

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 13, 2020, 03.04 PM(IST)

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Beijing has intensified its military activities in Taiwan which it considers its own territory 

Taiwan announced on Thursday a T$42.1 billion ($1.4 billion) increase in the budget for defence next year as China shared details of its latest combat exercise near the island. 

Beijing has intensified its military activities on the island which it considers its own territory. 

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Taiwan on Monday accused Chinese fights to briefly cross the sensitive median line of the Taiwan strait, the same day when President Tsai Ing-wen met US health secretary Alex Azar.

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China has criticised Azar's visit to Taiwan. 

The cabinet is proposing T$453.4 billion in military spending for the year starting in January, a 10 per cent increase from this year's T$411.3 billion budget, according to Reuters calculations. 

"The steady increase in the defence budget will facilitate the implementation of various military-building and war-preparation tasks ... and ensure national security and regional peace and stability," Taiwan's Defence Ministry said.

Nearly three hours after this announcement, Beijing acknowledged that it had carried out combat drills at the Taiwan strait aimed at US's recent measures to "safeguard national sovereignty." 

"Recently, a certain large country has continued to make negative moves on Taiwan-related issues, sending serious wrong signals to 'Taiwan independence' forces, and seriously threatening the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait," the Chinese statement said.

"The theatre command's organising of patrols and exercises are necessary actions taken in response to the current security situation across the Taiwan Strait and to safeguard national sovereignty," it added.

(With Reuters inputs)